After several weeks without an event, we were finally treated to an action-packed night of fighting at UFC 152: Jones vs. Belfort this past weekend. Jon Jones successfully defended his title over Vitor Belfort in the main event, so what could be in store for Jones?
How about Demetrious Johnson, who became the first-ever UFC flyweight champion? Or the guys who were defeated in the headliner bouts, Belfort and Joseph Benavidez?
Well, why not take a look into the FightLine Crystal Ball and see what could be on deck for several fighters from UFC 152:
Jones showed the heart of a champion by withstanding a nasty armbar attempt by Belfort and defending his title for a fourth time. Jones has discussed “unfinished” business with Dan Henderson after their bout was canceled due to an injury by Henderson. There is also Chael Sonnen, Lyoto Machida and the winner of Mauricio “Shogun” Rua-Alexander Gustafsson. A lot of this depends on the severity of Jones’ arm injury, but with so many cards already filled up through the remainder of 2012, a fight in early 2013 seems the best-case for “Bones.” If Henderson-Machida take place late in 2012, look for the winner of that to meet Jones, possibly Super Bowl weekend.
Belfort had his chance to stun the world vs. Jones, but his age quickly showed in the fight. “The Phenom” was expected to face Wanderlei Silva earlier this year, and re-booking that bout just seems to make a lot of sense right now. Both fighters want it, so why not throw them in there and see what should be nothing short of fireworks – for at least a few minutes.
This one is easy, as it was brought up during the post-fight press conference that “Mighty Mouse” will make his first title defense against the winner of John Dodson-Jussier “Formiga” da Silva. Those two meet next month in what should be a crazy match.
Benavidez took the loss to Johnson very, very hard, as he was somber during a post-fight interview. Expect Benavidez to take some attentional time off before returning to face Ian McCall. The UFC could even provide the winner of Benavidez-McCall as a No. 1 contender bout, depending on when it takes place.
Anderson Silva. Well, maybe not Silva quite yet. Bisping wants the title shot more than anything, but Silva has his sights set on Georges St-Pierre and a super-fight. If the GSP fight falls through, then I believe Bisping will get the shot at “The Spider” ahead of Chris Weidman. If the UFC goes through with Silva-GSP, Bisping takes on the winner of Weidman-Tim Boetsch, and maybe lands another TUF coaching gig.
Stann just couldn’t figure out a way to fend off the relentless attack of Bisping. “The All-American” has incredible knockout power, but he needs to do better in the clinch game to contend with the big dogs of the UFC. Stan needs time to improve in those areas, but he seems like the kind of fighter that will do just that in the gym. Once he does, why not pair him with a strong wrestler in Jake Shields, to test how far he has come.